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Rade Vignjevic


Rade Vignjevic

Professor Rade Vignjevic joined Brunel from Cranfield University, where he was Head of the Applied Mechanics and Astronautics Department. His area of technical expertise includes nonlinear transient finite element method, SPH, impact mechanics, crashworthiness and structural integrity. Together with his research team, they have achieved international recognition for work on modelling the transient response of materials and structures, specifically meshless methods; impact and crashworthiness of aerospace structures; and shock waves and damage in metals and composites.


Theme Leader for Structural Integrity, Brunel University, London

Previously: Head of the Applied Mechanics and Astronautics Department – Cranfield University; Head Crashworthiness, Impact and Structural Mechanics Group – Cranfield University

Research area(s)

  • Finite element and meshless methods
  • Material models for metals and composites
  • Impact mechanics
  • Crashworthiness and structural integrity
  • Shockwaves in solids


Research interests

Professor Vignjevic’s research interests over the last 25 years, have been focused on solids and structures under extreme loading and resulted in the output of over 70 journal papers. This includes the development of first principle-based simulation tools for analysis and the simulation based design (SBD) of structures including structural integrity, safety, crashworthiness and impact resistance. To be precise, Professor Vignjevic has been working on two important modelling aspects: i) development of improved constitutive models; and ii) improved spatial discretisation techniques. These two aspects combined are the key enablers for accurate modelling of progressive damage and failure in solids and structures.

His research has contributed to the improvement of simulation tools applicable to range of industrial problems. Rade, his team and students have been working with a number of companies in dealing with challenging engineering problems. For instance bird strike on fan blades with Rolls Royce; aircraft (fixed wing and rotorcraft) ditching and crash worthiness with AIRBUS, Westland Helicopters and EUROCOPTER; modelling of shockwaves in solids with AWE; car crashworthiness with JLR, Aston Martin, Mercedes PETRONAS and Williams F1teams; and high velocity impact on composite structures with BAE Systems and AIRBUS.

Research project(s) and grant(s)

  • EXTREME - Horizon 2020
  • Modelling dynamic behaviour of metals - AWE
  • Space harpoon - AIRBUS/ESA
  • Modelling of overhead equipment – Network Rail

Research clients and partners include:

  • Rolls Royce
  • Westland Helicopters
  • AWE
  • JLR
  • Aston Martin
  • Mercedes PETRONAS
  • Williams F1 team
  • BAE Systems
  • Network Rail

Collaborative research project(s)



Professor Vignjevic, Dip.Ing. in Mechanical Engineering, MSc and PhD in Applied Mechanics, is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He was Head of the Department of Applied Mechanics and Head of the Crashworthiness Impact and Structural Mechanics Group at Cranfield University and has over twenty five years of experience in postgraduate teaching, training and supervision of Masters and PhD students. At Cranfield University he delivered a number of modules including:

  • Finite Element Method
  • Impact Dynamics
  • Continuum Mechanics

Rade continues to contribute to teaching in the MSc Structural Integrity Course based at NSIRC, Granta Park and his current teaching modules include:

  • Numerical Modelling of Solids and Structures
  • Continuum mechanics (next academic year)

Selected Publications

Journal articles

Hetey, L. , Campbell, J.  and Vignjevic, R.   (2015)   'Advisory system development for reliable FEM modelling in aerospace'. Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, 87 (1).  pp. 11 - 18. doi: 10.1108/AEAT-04-2013-0067 

Vignjevic, R. , Djordjevic, N. , Gemkow, S. , De Vuyst, T.  and Campbell, J.   (2014)   'SPH as a nonlocal regularisation method: Solution for instabilities due to strain-softening'. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 277 pp. 281 - 304. Download publication 

Hetey, L. , Campbell, J.  and Vignjevic, R.   (2014)   'Non-linear idealisation error analysis of an aerospace stiffened panel loaded in compression'. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 228 (9).  pp. 1574 - 1585. doi: 10.1177/0954410013497151 

Gulavani, O. , Hughes, K.  and Vignjevic, R.   (2014)   'Explicit dynamic formulation to demonstrate compliance against quasi-static aircraft seat certification loads (CS25.561) -Part I: Influence of time and mass scaling'. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 228 (11).  pp. 1982 - 1995. doi: 10.1177/0954410013506333 

Hughes, K. , Gulavani, O. , Vuyst, TD.  and Vignjevic, R.   (2014)   'Explicit dynamic formulation to demonstrate compliance against quasi-static aircraft seat certification loads (CS25.561) - Part II: Influence of body blocks'. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 228 (10).  pp. 1890 - 1903. doi: 10.1177/0954410013506415 

Vignjevic, R. , Hughes, K. , De Vuyst, T. , Djordjevic, N. , et al.   (2014)   'Lagrangian analysis led design of a shock recovery plate impact experiment'. International Journal of Impact Engineering, 77 pp. 16 - 29. doi: 10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2014.11.002 Download publication 

De Vuyst, T.  and Vignjevic, R.   (2013)   'Total Lagrangian SPH modelling of necking and fracture in electromagnetically driven rings'. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FRACTURE, 180 (1).  pp. 53 - 70. doi: 10.1007/s10704-012-9801-4 

Conference papers

Hughes, K. , Vignjevic, R.  and Corcoran, F.   (2014)   'Using ANSYS LS-DYNA for Simulation led design of tablet protective covers' , 1st CADFEM Ireland Users’ Meeting & ANSYS Regional Conference. Engineers Ireland, Dublin. 11 - 12 September. CADFEM Ireland Ltd. 

Appleby-Thomas, GJ. , Hameed, A. , Vignjevic, R. , Hazell, PJ. , et al.   (2014)   'On the dynamic tensile strength of Zirconium' . Institute of Physics Publishing. doi: 10.1088/1742-6596/500/11/112004 Download publication 

Page last updated: Monday 04 July 2016